Blue Flowers presents


Also featuring Patrick Wolf, Polar Bear, Banarby Tidman, Johnny Flynn and more
Sunday December 9th, 2007
Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith


The Night I First Laid Eyes & Ears on Johnny Flynn

by Joanna Orland

Narcissist Ed Larrikin has picked up the pieces and moved on after the break-up of his former band Larrikin Love. Co-curating Blue Flowers on the 9th of December at the Hammersmith Lyric, Larrikin debuted his new band The Pan I Am during this stellar evening of poetry and music.

To be brutally honest, I wasn’t a fan of the straight up poetry readings. Barnaby Tidman in particular might as well have been reading a script for Hollyoaks for all the gripping words he was reciting. Of course there is an exception to every rule and the main one here being Polar Bear. Yes, I admit to being concerned when he got up on stage and announced that we’d be listening to 15 minutes of a man from Birmingham rant about life in general, but this man has got his rhymes DOWN and can tell an inspiring story or two. Gripping, funny, heartfelt, this man didn’t even have to read off a sheet of paper he was so good!

And then there was the Jock Scott. A mildly amusing older gentleman with crass words and a ‘suave’ demeanour. Good for a few giggles, but not quite sophisticated enough to totally wow the crowd, which consisted of sporadic celebrities such as funnyman and fellow jew Simon Amstell and his ex-co-presenter Miquita Oliver.

Now the thing that interested me most about the evening – the music. Where to begin? Let’s start from the top. After Barnaby Titman’s less-than-enthusiastic poetry recital, it was Johnny Flynn and his guitar. I hate to admit to not being down with the cool kids, but I had never heard of him before this very evening. This boy has presence, a voice, and a great sound. I need to investigate further.

Then there was the illiterate dink Charlie Waller from the Rumble Strips who couldn’t even decipher between the words interview and interVAL.  He was merely ok at playing some tunes to entertain the crowd, but paled in comparison to Mister Flynn.

Then came the ridiculously long break. Fair enough if you say the event starts at 6:30 and it really starts at 7:30, but then why must you have an HOUR long break on a Sunday night between 8:30 and 9:30??? Totally unnecessary and while it’s nice to mingle, wander about and check out the strange hairdos and skinny jeans, an hour was pushing it.

Anyway, with the break over, Patrick Wolf took the stage. It was advertised that he would just be reading poetry, but thank goodness this wasn’t true. A few random tunes from the Wolfman were very entertaining and in a different league to the other performers of the night. True, his intentionally out-of-tune stylings might not be for everyone, and yes the Moog sounded hideous, but Patrick’s songwriting skills go well beyond your generic indie fare and added some well-needed diversity to the bill. And no one’s played the ukulele as well as Wolf since the days of Tiny Tim!

To close the night, Larrikin’s The Pan I Am came to the stage and started off brilliantly. The first song was perfection – the sound, instrumentation and even the retro lighting. A great full-sounding band with great tunes to boot. The rest of the set was admittedly a bit samey and we couldn’t stay until the end as my friend misunderstood the train schedule, but still a small dose of The Pan I Am was the perfect way to end such an enjoyable Sunday evening.

The Blue Flowers CHRISTMAS CRACKER SPECTACULAR FEATURING KID HARPOON, BOBBY COOK and SOKO is this Sunday 16 December at The George IV, Chiswick.

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